The excitement on MTN’s Project Fame West Africa reached an all-time high on this week’s show. The finalists have emerged, and they are: Chidinma, Ochuko, Yetunde, Eyo, Kesse and Tolu. At the start of the show, the hosts, Joseph Benjamin and Adora Oleh appeared on the stage and went through the usual formalities. Then it was time for the contestants to light up the stage. The talented singers were to first perform soulful ballads, and later on, their own compositions.
Tolu was first – he performed Boys to Men’s ‘Girl in the Life Magazine’, and as usual, the young man from Kaduna did justice to the song. Kwame noted, “in your case, we have decided we won’t settle for less,” he said. “And you didn’t disappoint. But you need to relax more. There’s no doubt you’ve got it.” Vocal trainer, Ige, was sad the performance didn’t last longer. “It was painfully short but precise. You held those notes and took them brilliantly.”
Eyo stepped out next. He was saddled with the task of re-enacting Bryan White’s ‘I Love You Just the Way You Are’. When he was done, the faculty and the judges only had glowing praises for him. “That was a brilliant delivery of that song,” TY Mixx said. “It’s a difficult song to do but you sounded well.” Joke Silva said: “You looked so elegant on that stage. Your performance had all the subtlety we always talked about!”
Kesse literally turned back the hands of time with that R. Kelly’s classic. “You’ve gotten better with every performance,” Nomoreloss praised. Ben Ogbeiwi agreed with him. “That’s the most subtle performance I have seen on this Project Fame stage!”
Next came Yetunde with Aretha Franklin’s ‘Willing to Forgive’. And did she impress! “You took a very challenging song but you had full control.” Nomoreloss commented. “You are a source of inspiration. I have seen growth.” Kaffy said.
Ochuko took over the stage and performed ‘Tell Me it’s Real’ by KC and Jojo. His rendition of the song really impressed Cobhams Asuquo. “That was amazing! You always amaze, Ochuko! And this time around, you even took it a notch higher.” Ige was beaming with pride when she was asked to comment. “I’m so proud of you,” she started. “You listen to us and make us look good!”
The best performance in the ballads was saved for the last. The petite and amazingly talented Chidinma, who looked gorgeous in a white gown, came forward to perform Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart Will Go On’. By the time she was done with her masterful rendition of the song, the audience, the faculty members and the judges were all on their feet. Nomoreloss was left speechless. Even Cobhams was short of words, but he still managed to say ‘I’m speechless. That’s the best I’ve heard. You killed it! Thanks for bringing good music back.” Joke Silva managed to put her emotions in check as she gave her verdict. “I thank God that we were given the opportunity to work with you. It’s an honour. The way you expressed yourself on that stage was just…” And as she tailed off, she gave another standing ovation to Chidinma.
The hosts came back on and announced that the contestants were going to perform their own never-been-heard songs. Tolu performed ‘Arewa’, Eyo sang ‘What’s Her Name?’, Kesse wowed with ‘Chidinma’, which was actually written for his fellow contestant. So real was his delivery, that TY Mixx said, ‘It’s difficult to convince me there’s nothing going on between you two!” Yetunde sang ‘Akingbolahun’ and Ochuko raised the roof with his energetic performance of ‘Get up’. The night ended with Chidinma singing ‘Directions’. In Ben’s appraisal, he said, ‘You are musically and positively chaotic!”